FBI Warns Area Colleges of Threat of Violence for Monday

It's going to be a tense day on local campuses.

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This is a developing story.

On the weekend following the deadly campus shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the FBI has warned Philadelphia-area colleges and universities of a potential for violence on Monday, October 5th, according to an alert from Drexel University.

“The FBI has notified all Philadelphia area colleges and universities about a recent social media posting threatening violence at a Philadelphia area college or university on Monday, October 5,” reads the alert, which was posted on Sunday. “Since the shooting last week at a community college in Oregon, the FBI has seen similar social media postings throughout the country.”

We originally learned of the FBI warning on Sunday morning, when a La Salle University student reached out to us about a similar alert that she found on the school’s website. That alert, dated Saturday, October 3rd, warns of threats of violence against “an unspecific university near Philadelphia.” The La Salle alert specifies 2 p.m. on Monday as the time that the threatened violence could occur.

Both alerts state that the FBI has no knowledge of a “specific threat,” but that gives no peace to the La Salle student, who asked us to withhold her name.

“I have no idea what to do with this information,” she says. “I have to be on campus during this time tomorrow. I’m just supposed to be looking over my shoulder for a possible gunman?”

She only found out about the threat by logging on to La Salle’s website; she did not receive an email from the school about it. Under the announcement section on the site, the phrase “SAFETY ADVISORY” appears, and she says that these are frequently put on the site to alert students to campus muggings and other crime nearby.

“To put it up as a safety advisory means that you only see it if you click on the advisory,” she says. “And a lot of people probably don’t, since they happen all the time.”

We checked the websites of some other colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area and, as of 3 p.m. Sunday, had not found any other alerts posted. The FBI has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Drexel says that the school will have increased patrols on Monday and that all security personnel at the school have been alerted to the threat.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.